Former UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier confirmed on Monday that he will return to the Octagon for a trilogy bout with current heavyweight titleholder Stipe Miocic. He also confirmed that their trilogy bout would serve as the final fight of his career.
Cormier (22-2, 1NC) became a dual-division UFC champion when he shocked many fans and pundits by knocking Miocic out at UFC 226 on July 7, 2018. He went on to defend the belt against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 in November in New York.
The victory over Lewis made Cormier the first fighter in UFC history to win belts in two divisions and defend them both prior to relinquishing either. He was forced to vacate the light heavyweight title prior to UFC 232, which saw Jon Jones defeat Alexander Gustafsson for the belt in the main event.
Cormier then went on to lose the heavyweight title to Miocic in their rematch at UFC 241 in August of 2019.
Immediately following the loss to Miocic, Cormier was unsure if he would continue fighting or not. He has now decided to accept a trilogy fight with Miocic, but plans to walk into the sunset following the fight, no matter the result.
”I’m going to fight this guy again, and my intention is to fight him in the right way,” Cormier said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA show on Monday. “Hopefully that’s enough to get my hand raised.
”But I’ll go fight him again, win or lose, I’m not fighting again. This will be the only time I ever step foot in the Octagon again.”
UFC president Dana White confirmed that a trilogy fight between Miocic and Cormier was in the works last week in an interview with Barstool Sports.
“Stipe is recovering from that fight. He’s got some bumps and bangs from that fight, and yeah, we’re gonna do that trilogy,” White said during an interview on Barstool Sports. “Yes, (Miocic vs. Cormier 3 is next).”
White wasn’t sure yet when the bout would happen, but Cormier told Helwani that he hopes the fight will happen at UFC 245 on Dec. 14 in Las Vegas. White has said that he is targeting three title fights for that card, which already has Amanda Nunes vs. Germaine de Randamie scheduled for the bantamweight title and Max Holloway putting his featherweight title on the line opposite Alexander Volkanovski. Miocic vs. Cormier would certainly round out the card nicely, packing a heavy punch as the UFC closes out the year.
Cormier, however, said that nothing is concrete. He said the UFC is on board with his intentions, but that they have yet to nail down Miocic.
“They just told me they’re gonna go talk to Stipe,” Cormier said. “That’s it. I’m just worried about what I can control.”
(Video courtesy of ESPN MMA | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)